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Trump cheers Exxon plan to spend $20B on Gulf Coast projects

By on March 6, 2017

HOUSTON — President Donald Trump on Monday praised Exxon Mobil Corp. after the company announced plans to create thousands of jobs by spending $20 billion over 10 years on refineries, chemical and liquefied natural gas plants along the Gulf Coast.

Exxon said the work would create 12,000 permanent jobs — Exxon currently has about 71,000 employees — and 35,000 construction jobs.

Trump went on Twitter to congratulate the company, saying that “Buy American & hire American are the principals at the core of my agenda,” although he apparently meant that those are among his principles.

In his third tweet on Exxon, Trump wrote, “45,000 construction & manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. $20 billion investment. We are already winning again, America!”

In December, Trump plucked Exxon’s then-CEO, Rex Tillerson, to be his secretary of state.

The new chairman and CEO, Darren Woods, said Monday that the company would expand at several current plants and build a new one to create petroleum products for export.

The company said it plans 10 expansion projects at current facilities around Beaumont and Baytown, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and wants to build a new chemicals plant at a location yet to be determined along the Gulf.

The sum of $20 billion would be roughly equal to Exxon’s total capital spending last year. The company announced last week that it plans to increase overall investments to an average of $25 billion a year from 2018 to 2020.

Shares of the Irving, Texas-based company rose 37 cents to close at $82.83. They have lost about 8 percent so far this year.

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